Independent sets his sights on a Council seat

A WELL KNOWN and respected Lossiemouth man has thrown his hat into the ring as a candidate in May’s local council elections.

Ryan Edwards has declared his intention to run in the Heldon and Laich ward, the third candidate for that ward so far with Tory candidate and current councillor James Allan already in the race alongside Green candidate James MacKessack-Leitch.

Mr Edwards’ family connections to the area go back several generations, having grown up in Hopeman where he attended primary school before then moving to Lossiemouth High School.

His family were struck by tragedy in 1990 when their fishing vessel was lost with all hands, including Ryan’s father, two uncles and three crew members from Burghead. Mr Edwards took an apprenticeship with a local engineering firm.

Currently, he is vice president of Lossiemouth Bowling club and is heavily involved in charity work for The Scottish Cot Death Trust, where he and his family have raised well over £15,000 with events including Fire Walking, climbing Ben Nevis and Sky dives.

The charity is very close to the hearts of both Ryan and his Wife Claire after the loss of their first son in 1994. They now have three adult children and more recently he and his wife have become first time grandparents.

Of his bid to become a councillor, Ryan said: “I am delighted to be standing as an Independent candidate for Heldon and Laich.

“I want to be a voice for the people and will work tirelessly for each and every person within my ward. I have always been a hard worker, pushing myself as far as possible in everything I do.

“There are frontline services being cut due to council funding – and although cuts are inevitable they have to be in the right places. During my career offshore I was in charge of a very large department having to deal with budgets and cost cutting, so firmly believe that my experience in this area where tough decisions had to be made will stand me on solid ground.”

Mr Edwards is pledging to fight for frontline services and pledges to provide a local voice where it matters – and for the most vulnerable in our communities, in particular where Mental Health facilities have been closed down because of council funding cuts.

He added: “Our older people are another cause for concern, care homes and sheltered housing are limited in Heldon and Laich, we have many older people living alone in old large houses which they cannot afford to heat properly.

“We need to ensure they are looked after properly with more housing across the board but essentially more sheltered accommodation where our older generation can get the protection and care they deserve. I will do everything I can to ensure that our older people’s needs are met.”

With the Lossiemouth High School project in the balance, Ryan added that he would fight to ensure funding shortfalls are filled in the bid to replace his former school.

He added: “There is disparity in allocation of funds throughout Moray and I want to ensure the constituents of Heldon and Laich get what is entitled to them.

“I believe that all the children of Moray deserve the very best in educational facilities, as they are currently receiving in Elgin. The vast majority of high school children in the Heldon and Laich ward are attending Lossiemouth High School – the project is not just a learning facility, there are leisure facilities integrated into the package, including a swimming pool and community centre and it is vital to all in Heldon and Laich that Lossiemouth does not lose out with this project.

“I very much look forward to meeting people from all over the ward and hopefully being elected to be the voice that stands up for each and every one of them.

“At this local level of politics I think it essential that each and every voice is heard irrespective of political views and as a true independent I can and do offer this.”